Local News

Lawmakers Announce Focus on Raising Graduation Rate

Posted April 5, 2007 6:43 p.m. EDT

— A legislative committee is looking for ways to reduce the state's high school dropout rate, and lawmakers plan to go around the state to collect ideas.

The initiative will be led by Reps. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe, and Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth. They co-chair the Education Subcommittee on Pre-School, Elementary and Secondary Education.

"Without a doubt, ensuring the education of this state's children to have the tools to compete on a global scale is the most important work that any of us in this body will ever have," Speaker Joe Hackney, D-Orange, said.

The initiative will hold hearings around the state to look at ways to keep kids in school.

Currently, ninth grade has the highest dropout rate in high schools. The state Department of Public Instruction reported in February that 68.1 percent of students who start ninth grade graduate in four years.

After they begin working with high schools, the lawmakers want to turn to middle schools to try to get a 100 percent graduation rate there, they said.